Details are starting to trickle out about Microsoft’s plans to position a revamp of its search engine against competitors. AdAge — which previously reported that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) was planning a major ad campaign to promote a relaunch of Live Search this spring — now says that Microsoft will spend between $80 million and $100 million on advertising, almost double the amount typically spent on the launch of a consumer product. The campaign, which will span TV, print and online, is so large that ad firm JWT is actually hiring while most of its competitors are shedding employees. AdAge says the campaign will “focus on planting the idea that today’s search engines don’t work as well as consumers previously thought by asking them whether search (aka Google) really solves their problems.” However, it will not refer to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) or Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) by name.
Microsoft is reportedly set to announce details surrounding an overhaul of its search engine later this week at the AllThingsD Conference in Carlsbad, Calif. The company is also expected to reveal a new name for the search engine. AdAge refers repeatedly refers to the name Bing, one of several monikers that has been rumored to be under consideration, although it does not explicitly say that will be the new brand. One possible problem if Microsoft does plan to use Bing: LiveSide.net reported Friday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Microsoft’s request to trademark Bing, citing the “likelihood of confusion” because a mobile company already uses that brand. A Microsoft spokeswoman did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.